FIRST LOOK – Osteria Southside
Two Sarasota restaurateurs combine for one great place!
Opening a restaurant is challenging. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have in the “business”; things still happen. But experience does go a long way to help make those “things” a little less of a disaster when they pop up.
Rami Nehme has been making pizza since his days at Pi 3.14 Craft Beer & Spirits on Siesta Key. In 2016 he opened what would become the first of four Origin Craft Beer & Pizza locations. That first restaurant was located in Southside Village and is still cooking up great pies! 🍕
Meanwhile, just a couple of miles north, Michael and Victoria Calore were dishing out delicious Italian sandwiches and specialties in their wildly popular but tiny downtown Sarasota restaurant. Mozzarella Fella opened in 2011 and quickly had people standing in line every day just for a taste.
What would happen if you combined these two successful Sarasota restaurant pros into one brand new venture? The answer is Osteria Southside! (1812 S. Osprey Ave. (941) 361-3200).
Just last month, the doors swung wide open on the newest Southside Village eatery. And it got popular in a hurry! Everyone knows that it doesn’t take all that long in this town for word to get around. And that proved to be the case this time too.
THE FEEL –
The exposed brick walls give this space a decidedly urban look. But it doesn’t feel cold or industrial. It’s just comfortable. You will definitely feel at home here.
They have both high-top and low-top seating in this single-room dining space. That means there is something for everyone. 📝 If you’re a solo diner, the bar would make a great choice. Hey, you might even make a new friend!
If your preference is for a Florida outdoor dining experience, you can do that too!
THE FOOD –
🤞This seems like the appropriate place for me to put in a special request for the glorious return of the old Mozzarella Fella #10 sandwich. Fresh mozzarella, Genoa salami, oregano, and olive oil. Simple & delicious!!
While I’m waiting for my request to be fulfilled, let’s talk about some of the stuff you can ACTUALLY order.
Italian Wedding Soup is one of my all-time favorites. I have talked about my love of this hearty soup style until people around me are sick of hearing it (YES, I do realize this! AND, yes, I may have a problem 😀).
Osteria’s recipe is satisfying and delicious. 📝Two doors south at Knick’s Tavern & Grill they have a fantastic version of their own!
The Burrata Salad takes the best things about a traditional Caprese salad and elevates them 10X. That rich, luscious cream hiding inside the outer layer of cheese makes this dish tough to pass on.
Michael REALLY knows how to cook Italian food. Anyone who ever ate at Pazzo will happily tell you that.
So, it should come as no surprise that the Eggplant Rollatini hits you in that comfort food kind of way.
Both the Osprey Avenue and Hillview Street locations of the former Pazzo had one of the most unique mashup dishes I had ever come across on an Italian restaurant menu.
Yes, I am talking about the Meatball Salad.
When I first came across this dish back in 2018, it left me scratching my head a bit. Yes, I love a delicious meatball (or three!). And I’m completely good with a salad of just about any type. But hot and cold? In the same salad!? It must work; I’ve been happily eating that “salad” ever since. Glad it made the cut for the new menu!
To cap things off, a taste of something sweet is in order. Yes, they have some traditional Italian desserts. But I was thinking more along the lines of this…
This Nivole White Muscato was the perfect finish for this short little operetta of a dinner. Yes, it will hit that “sweet spot” without having to commit to a big slice of Tiramisu. (I love Tiramisu as much as the next person. But sometimes capacity takes precedence over desire).
THE BOTTOM LINE: Yes, Osteria Southside is sure to be busy for some time to come. But they do take reservations, and it is a little bit slower around town, so it shouldn’t be an issue. This is delicious Italian cuisine presented in a simple but still elegant way. The service is top-notch, and the price point won’t have you raiding your child’s 529 college plan. Osteria Southside has all the makings of a Sarasota restaurant success story. 💥
🗓️ SARASOTA FOOD EVENTS 🗓️
Here are some upcoming local food events that we think you might find interesting. All you need to do is make that reservation. We’ve provided you with a link to more info. (If you have an event, send us the details! (EMAIL IT)
ALL MAY – Epicurean Menu, Portugal – Michael’s On East
WEEKLY POP-UP KITCHEN EVENTS – 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop
MAY 10 – Wine Cellar Social Club – Michael’s On East
MAY 10 – Walking Progressive Dinner – Taste Magazine
MAY 14 – Mother’s Day Brunch – Mattison’s Forty-One
MAY 14 – Mother’s Day Brunch – Pier 22
MAY 14 – Mother’s Day Brunch – Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood
MAY 14 – Mother’s Day Brunch – GROVE Restaurant
MAY 14 – Mother’s Day Brunch – Michael’s On East
MAY 20 – LAUGHTER in LWR! – GROVE Restaurant
MAY 23 – Hope Family Wines Wine Dinner – Michaels On East
MAY 24 – Collefrisio Wine Dinner – Tiramisu
MAY 25 – “Lavish” Wine Paring Dinner – Andrea’s
MAY 25 – Italian Wine Dinner – Fins at Sharky’s
MAY 25 – Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Tasting – Mademoiselle Paris
JUN 10 – Macallan Pairing Dinner – GROVE Restaurant
JUL 1 – Suncoast Largest Food Truck Rally 3.0 – INFORMATION
🧑🌾 FARMER’S MARKET INFO 🧑🌾
EVERY SUNDAY – Siesta Key Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY SUNDAY – Farmer’s Market at Lakewood Ranch – DETAILS
EVERY SUNDAY – The Meadows Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY WEDNESDAY – The Phillippi Farmhouse Market (Oct-Apr) – DETAILS
THIRD THURSDAY NIGHT – RADD Night Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Sarasota Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Downtown Bradenton Public Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Venice Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
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